Monday, October 01, 2007

Is October or November the Critical Month for the Huskers?

When I looked at the 2007 Husker schedule, I thought October was the critical month for the Huskers. October featured games against Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas. But then something happened:

Kansas 4-0
Troy 41, Oklahoma State 23
Miami-Florida 34, Texas A&M 17 (and it wasn't that close)
Kansas State 41, Texas 21 (in Austin, no less!)
Colorado 27, Oklahoma 24

Suddenly, the November games against the Big XII North (Kansas, Kansas State, and Colorado) look a lot more interesting. I really thought that October's matchups looked tougher in the summertime, but now November's look big as well. I thought Nebraska could go 3-1 in October and set themselves up for a trip to San Antionio. And if Texas is still struggling in October, you never know....

However, here's a couple of other things that raise concerns:

Southern Cal 42, Nebraska 10 (3rd quarter, when Pete Carroll called off the dogs)
Nebraska 41, Ball State 40
Iowa State: 400+ yards of offense against the Blackshirts

I can see this thing going either way... Nebraska could figure out their demons on defense and run the table. On the other hand, Nebraska has only brought their "B" game to the table once this season (against Nevada) as opposed to a couple of C (Wake Forest and Iowa State) and a couple of D- performances (against USC and Ball State). That won't work the rest of the way as the competition gets much tougher from here.

Here's the scary thought... if Nebraska doesn't improve significantly, Nebraska could not only go 0-for-October, but also 0-for-November. Likely? Not really. But after 4 straight sub-par performances, you can no longer dismiss it as a "bad week"'s now a trend... A trend that needs to be broken, and with the Tigers offense drooling over the Blackshirts recent performances, a trend that needs to be broken this weekend.

Both extremes are unlikely in my opinion. But more possible than Husker fans are used to. (Before anybody takes me out of context, I am not saying that the Huskers will win -- or lose -- all of their remaining games. I'm just saying it's within the realm of possibilities.)

It's going to be a wild ride over the next couple of months. I'd still like to think that 10-2 is still possible, and it is. A couple of weeks ago, I feared an 8-4. After last Saturday, I fear an even worse record.
11-1 or 10-2 means the Blackshirts have plugged the dike and can write off a few bad performances in September. The opposite extreme is something I just don't want to get into, but it's there in the back of my mind, something keeps repeating "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger"...

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